Swaziland government website closed: Couldn’t pay the bill

The poor handling of the economy in Swaziland, and the subsequent cutbacks, has now also hit the official government website. The website was closed due to non-payment of bills amounting to approximately 100.000 Rand that were owed the host of the website, Real Image. It had probably also annoyed Real Image that the government had sought out a new host for the redesign and hosting of its website.

A source in Swaziland’s government insisted that they would have paid the money if possible, “we wanted to pay Real Image but we don’t have the money.” Government Press Secretary Macanjana Motsa, on the other hand, condemned the closure of the site to Times of Swaziland, claiming that this would frustrate “efforts to market the country locally and internationally.”

Swaziland’s government has handled the economy poorly for a long time now. This is particularly obvious in the reckless and hurried signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union that has severely undermined its considerable revenue from the Southern African Customs Union. This has resulted in severe cutbacks in public service in for instance the health service and the treatment of the hundreds of thousands of HIV-positive Swazi’s, non-payment of salaries to many public employees, and that 7000 public servants risk being sacked.

And all this while the country’s MPs have given themselves pay rises, while the king continues his extravagant overspending, and while millions continue to be spent on prestige projects such as the construction of Swaziland’s new airport.

Links:

Swaziland: Facing up to a financial crisis, IRIN, 12 January 2011

Swaziland: A kingdom in crisis, Swazi Media Commentary, 19 December 2010

The government’s economic crisis, Swazi Media Commentray, 15 December 2010

Bill unpaid: Government silenced, Swazi Media Commentary, 12 December 2010

Govt website shut down, Times of Swaziland 12 December 2010

Government website shut down!, Swaziland News, 12 December 2010

One Response to Swaziland government website closed: Couldn’t pay the bill

  1. Pingback: Lærere i Swaziland intimideres af regimet « Stiff Kitten's Blog – development & socio-political issues

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